Our little family is preparing for another tranquil vacation on Jekyll Island, Georgia. For anyone who isn’t familiar with the area, the Golden Isles include four barrier islands located about halfway between Savannah, GA. and Jacksonville, FL: St. Simons Island, Sea Island, Little St. Simons Island, and Jekyll Island.
I’ve visited the isles since I was a little girl, when my grandparents rented a cottage every summer at Sea Island. Later as a college student, my friends and I piled into my cousin’s big antique Ford Fairline convertible and headed to the more happening beach at St. Simons every chance we got. These days my little family rents a vacation home on Jekyll, home of the Georgia Sea Turtle Center and a paradise for bike riding, shell seeking, and boogie boarding.
Though Cumberland Island, the largest of Georgia’s barrier islands, isn’t part of the Golden Isles, it’s well worth the hour-long drive from Jekyll south to St. Mary’s to catch the ferry to Cumberland. Cumberland is a world apart – I love its bands of wild horses, wide, deserted beaches, wandering paths lined by gnarled live oaks and palmetto bushes, and the ruins of the once great mansion Dungeness. I love sharing the magic of the place with my children – my youngest called Cumberland a “kingdom of trees.” Check out the photo essay below to find out why.